Ask yourself these two questions: are you a foodie who likes gorging yourself with island food? Do you want to help kids in your community? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then get to the third annual Caribbean Food Fest this Saturday. And bring your appetite.
The festival will be held at St. Mary's Wesleyan Methodist Church in the Model City section of Miami. Starting at 3 p.m. and continuing until 8, chefs will be unleashing an all-you-can-eat buffet of Jamaican and island-style grub. The cost is $10 for kids 10 and under, $20 for adults.
The event is intended as a fundraiser for the church's back-to-school ministry. Proceeds will help provide the funds for children's school supplies as well as for outreach ministry.
Here is a short and mouthwatering list of some of the food that will be there: jerk chicken, barbecue ribs, tilapia, snapper, shrimp, different kinds of soups including a bone soup that is made with various animal bones (if you think that does not sound appetizing remember that bone marrow is a staple of French cuisine), crumb fritters, cakes, pies, beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, various salads, cold drinks and more There will just be tables and tables of food.
"Anything island you can think of will be there," says 49-year-old Ingrid Braithwaite, the church's secretary and youth sponsor.
It is not just going to be an all-out eat fest, there will also be live music, door prizes, giveaways and games such as Scrabble, Dominoes and a hula-hoop contest. A great event for the family and for a good cause too.
It is a tented outdoor event and will be held, rain or shine. Last year between 150 and 200 people showed up. This year the church anticipates at least 200 people.
Small in size with a congregation of only 150 but with a big heart, St. Mary's church has been a cornerstone of the community for 88 years. Braithwaite, who came to Miami from Jamaica in 1973, became a member of the church at age nine.
"The church has seen a need to open a door and incorporate the needs of the community," Braithwaite says. "We want to move from just being a building on the corner to a bean of the community."
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